This is Not a Drill: 2020 in Review

2020 was the year of “gender critical” legal cases

Keira Bell
Harry Miller

“To do so would be to undervalue a cardinal democratic freedom. In this country we have never had a Cheka, a Gestapo or a Stasi. We have never lived in an Orwellian society.”

Kate Scottow
Raquel Rosario Sanchez

“My case is about how an elite university treats its students when nobody is watching”

Allison Bailey
Sonia Appleby

“This is not an “anti-trans” case. I am supportive of the transgender community and their right to seek services that are both supportive and safe.”

Ann Sinnott

“This isn’t a case about an individual woman who has undergone harassment and discrimination ..but each and every one of the legal actions for which we have gladly dipped into our purses to support, was made necessary because of a misinterpretation and misapplication of the law. Longstanding unlawful guidance, from the very entities that are responsible for overseeing equalities in the UK, created the situations that led to all past and current legal actions.”

Marion Calder, For Women Scotland
James Caspian
Katie Alcock
Sarah Phillimore

Keira Bell breaks through

Stephanie Davies Arai, Shelly Charlesworth, Keira Bell and Sue Evans

“those wishing to express their own views could be silenced by, or threatened with, proceedings for harassment based on subjective claims by individuals that felt offended or insulted”.

Debate, evidence and clear language is worthy of respect in a democratic society

  • Self ID: In September the UK government finally announced that it had dropped its plan for sex self ID — this was a victory for grass roots campaigns like Woman’s Place UK, Fairplay for Women and Standing for Women that had mobilised a democratic debate in the face of intimidation by activists, and cowardice by established organisations.
  • Schools: In October the Department for Education published new guidance for schools on relationship and sex education. It discourages schools from “suggesting that children might be a different gender based on their personality and interests or the clothes they prefer to wear.“and says that while teachers should always seek to treat individual students with sympathy and support they “should not suggest to a child that their non-compliance with gender stereotypes means that either their personality or their body is wrong and in need of changing.” Importantly it emphasises working together with parents in line with safeguarding.
  • Sport: In October World Rugby announced that after following an in depth review of the evidence of the effect of testosterone reduction males, it was concluded that safety and fairness cannot presently be assured for women competing against transwomen in contact rugby. It set guidelines which (at an international level at least) allow women to play contact rugby without having to compete with male players who identify as women.
  • Single sex services: In December MSPs overwhelmingly voted for a six word amendment “for the word gender substitute sex”, so that survivors of rape and sexual assaults could clearly ask to be examined by a person of a particular sex.

But efforts to shut down debate are unrelenting




This is mainly where I write about sex and gender

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Maya Forstater

Maya Forstater

This is mainly where I write about sex and gender

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